Frankfurt Was All About Electric And Autonomous Cars, But The Future Isn’t Here Yet
Self-driving EV concepts! Self-driving EV concepts everywhere…by Jonathan Lopez, on
It seems like with every auto show cycle, excitement over electric power and autonomous capabilities grows just a little bit more. This year’s Frankfurt Motor Show is proof positive of that – between new concepts from Audi, Mercedes, Renault, Honda, BMW, and Jaguar, among others, you’d be forgiven for thinking our battery-powered, robo-driven future is all but confirmed at this point. Of course, this raises a number of questions: how long till we get there? Will I still be able to drive my own car? Will internal combustion completely bite the dust?
Well, I’m here to put things in perspective – while many of these major automakers are adamant that self-driving, electron-powered passenger vehicles are just over the proverbial horizon, it’s likely the changes will be relatively gradual. So don’t worry – it’s not like Dieter Zetsche is gonna snap his fingers and in an instant turn your Camaro into something resembling the EQA Concept.
First up, let’s talk about electric power. EV producers still have a ways to go before battery-powered vehicles overtake gas-powered vehicles in terms of convenience (and convenience is essentially why we all have cars anyway, right?). After all, long charge times and range anxiety are still very much a thing, and although both are seeing significant improvements as of late, the ICE still has a significant advantage. What’s more, unless the U.S. follows in the footsteps of China and Europe and decides to ban new gas- and diesel-powered vehicles in the next few decades, stateside consumers will likely continue to enjoy explodey juice options long into the foreseeable future, even as the rest of the world goes electric.
The same goes for autonomous vehicles. Once again, we see self-driving tech making huge strides in the past few years, but large-scale adoption is still many decades away. Making it all work in a lab is one thing, making it work in the real world is quite another, especially with unpredictable factors like human drivers out there to challenge the algorithms.
Don’t get me wrong – the self-driving EV’s are indeed coming, and with them, all the benefits (environmental, safety, etc.) you’d expect. They’re just not quite ready yet.
Read more about the Audi Elaine Concept.
Read more about the Mercedes-Benz EQA Concept.
Read more about the Renault Symbioz Concept.
Read our full review on the Honda Urban EV Concept.
Read our full review on the BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.
Read our full review on the Jaguar E-Type Zero.